A legend in the novel world Adeline Virginia Woolf was born into an affluent household in South Kensington, London. She was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors, and also a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Being not only known for her novels, but some of her poetry also got quality attention. Woolf also wrote pioneering essays on artistic theory, literary history, women’s writing, and the politics of power.
Rid Of Effulgence-
Everybody is smiling but broken inside, living a lie with the blackface behind, unlike the sun standing straight we all are broken like a moon when it comes to life, not a single person can actually say they are happily alive –
‘I see the moon- flickering, broken, leaning against the sky- and am afraid.
I am a girl among men and women robed in beauty but without faces.
Their tongues cut; I am derided.
is there an end to these knives?
I lie, I stammer, I am on the verge of twitching.
I am composed of scorched sea, foam, and fire.
I am like a ribbon of weed
when will I be flung to the uttermost edge of the world?’
Her poem revolves around the essence of life which we all have been wandering to find. The beauty of this poem is in how wonderfully she portrays a life of a girl who struggles to find her identity in a chaotic world full of pretty faces but dull hearts. She says that she sees the moon which is broken and shaded which resembles much like the life of human beings. The harsh reality of life is that it is the emulsion of filthy truths and magnificent lies.
‘Where people are surrounded by beautiful people but without faces’. Now, this is a little tricky as ‘without faces’ in the poem means people without hearts. And this is very much evident in the 21st century where we all run after the materialistic world but fails to realize the Venus of a good heart. She is afraid and sometimes lies to hide her fears but most importantly her emotions from coming out, from being judged and calculated. Her life is a mess of unanswered questions and so is ours. And somewhere I guess these silent screams are what took her life in the end. Anyways, moving forward she says she is like a scorched sea. This means she is distorted within herself and feels fully contempt for being so. She ends up by asking a question that seems to fascinate me the most- When will she be able to break out from the invisible bars of insecurity, despondency, and desolations? This question also raises another- Had we really moved on?
In the 21st century, it is often seen that everybody is dealing with something in their life. Everyone is fighting to survive. One common thing is that from kids to teens to the elderly no one is living soulfully. Life is harsh on everyone – in a different way, yet we all have that spark and will to survive through all the pain.
One thing which is very common from the era of the ’80s till the day is that people are still infiltrated based on complexion, castes, creed, and what not? Unfortunately, beauty has become synonymous with excellence. Everything is being put on the verge of competition – feelings, emotions, friendships, relations no matter what if you don’t stand by their standards, then my dear, life is being harsh!
Depression is eating everyone, this world is dealing with anxiety but none is ready to openly accept it, and those who dare to do so, are considered weak. Shining bright like a star was once said and followed but now it is lost in chaotic realms of success, power, and money! Once we step into reality- pain and struggle are all that we have got – as it is said life goes on. No matter what we all need to remind ourselves to – stay calm and accept life as it is. Gather your wits. We’re going to get through this together.
Life – is said and firmly believed that whosoever has taken birth will suffer but does that really mean suffering from revolving around pain, no.
Born in 1882, Adeline Virginia Woolf was a London-based English writer and was considered an innovative writer. She wrote several essays, diaries, letters, and biographies. Her parents were well-to-do, communicative, and literate in the late nineteenth-century world. Both her parents died in quick succession due to which, Woolf suffered depression for a long period of time.
Woolf wrote mainly about gender roles and sexuality due to which her style and subject matter were very prolific and differed from the other writers of the 19th century. Her work explores the key motifs of modernism, including the subconscious, time, perception, the city, and the impact of war. She gives readers an insight into her life through her works- Reminiscences (1908), 22 Hyde Park Gate (1921), and A Sketch of the Past (1940). A Room of One’s Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938) are some of her books which she wrote on the position of women in society and how they survive the ever-lasting sacrifices of life.
Virginia married Leonard Woolf, a civil servant and an author himself in 1912. The couple shared a great bond of which she wrote in her diary- “Love-making—after 25 years can’t bear to be separate … you see it is enormous pleasure being wanted: a wife. And our marriage so complete.”
But her happy marriage served no good to her poor mental state and she attempted suicide twice a year after marriage. She was soon considered mad by her family due to manic excitements and psychotic episodes. Psychiatrists today conclude that Woolf may have suffered from bipolar disorder and was not mad but a woman of great courage and stoicism. Virginia Woolf committed suicide on 28 March 1941 by filling the pockets of her blazer with stones and drowning herself in River Ouse near her home. Her body was found 20 days later on 8th April. She was cremated by her husband in the garden of Monk’s House, their home in Rodmell, Sussex.
In her suicide note, Woolf wrote to her husband- “Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight it any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”